St. Jude's Q1 results beat expectations

Stryker isn't the only one reporting earnings this week. St. Jude Medical reported net sales of $1.376 billion during Q1, an increase of nine percent compared with the $1.262 billion during the same period 2010. As the Minneapolis Star Tribune points out, the quarterly results were better than Wall Street expected. The company also raised its full-year earnings guidance to $3.28 to $3.33 per share--that's up from $3.25 and $3.30 per share.

During the quarter, the company recorded after-tax charges of $28 million, related primarily to acquisition and integration costs associated with AGA Medical. The company says profits for the quarter were $233 million, or $0.71 per share. During the first quarter of 2010, reported net earnings equaled $239 million, or $0.73 per share, according to its earnings statement.

Excluding the charges related to acquisition of AGA and tax benefits, adjusted net earnings for the first quarter of 2011 were $262 million, or $0.80 per share.

Total cardiac rhythm management sales, which include ICD and pacemaker products, were relatively flat, coming in at $762 million for the quarter, a one percent increase compared with the same period last year. And first quarter pacemaker sales were $297 million, a decrease of one percent.

However, the company did see sales of its neuromodulation products rise to $92 million, up 10 percent from the comparable quarter of 2010. Total cardiovascular sales were $327 million for the quarter, a 28 percent increase over the first quarter of 2010. This division now includes sales from AGA, the company notes in its statement.

"During the first quarter, we continued to make good progress in developing the new growth drivers we need to return to double-digit sales growth on a sustainable basis," says Daniel Starks, St. Jude's chairman, president and CEO. "Our gross margin has strengthened, we have continued to invest in research and development at an elevated rate, and our sales and earnings growth outlook have both improved. We are off to a good start making 2011 another very successful year for St. Jude Medical."

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